LUU’s Vertical Fitness society gives us an insight into the rapid development of this recently recognised sport.
2017/18 is set to be a great year for Vertical Fitness. Pole dancing has finally been recognised as an official sport and the International Pole Sports Federation has begun the application to become an Olympic contender. The sport has appeared in talent contests around the world and there are over 5 pole dancing studios in Leeds alone. It’s not surprising that hundreds of students are interested in joining. So, this year Vertical Fitness are aiming bigger and better, with more shows, more events and more aerial action!
We are super excited to be working on lots of events throughout the year, from competitions and performances to fundraisers and film screenings. We are once again raising money for the charity Basis Yorkshire and all our solo events are helping support their amazing work in providing help and support to sex workers and victims of child sexual exploitation.
First up is the Men’s Pole Night in the Scarlett Studio on the 12th November. Don’t lie, you know you’re curious. Men can pole! Our incredible teacher last year was an award-winning, male, pole-dancer. We have had male members. Pole fitness takes an insane amount of strength, coordination and endurance. You get a lot of bruises, but you also get a lot of gains. On Sunday, we’ll be showing men just how strong they are, but reminding them just how strong we are. All men are invited, and women are too – just bring a male friend!
On the 17th November we are again performing in the annual Dance Competition in the Riley Smith theatre! For the first time, we’ll be showing off with a solo performance from Christina Coll. And our award-winning Performance Rep, Georgina Trace (1st place Intermediates- Pole Sports UK) is choreographing our group performance and aiming for a second trophy under her belt. We’re also hosting a private screening of Chicago in Pyramid theatre on the 27th November, to everyone who likes a bit of burlesque! The night will start with a little showcase of our skills, when our committee perform a cheeky routine from the film. Tickets will be five pound. The 8th December will see our 24 hour Poleathon in Market Square. Last year, we defied our own expectations by poling for 24 hours, in the middle of the freezing Union foyer. We even raised an amazing £600 for Basis Yorkshire!
This year we’re hoping to raise even more by again poling from 6am-6am. We’ll be showing off what our members can do for a solid 24 hours, while raising money for an amazing cause. Expect Santa hats and lots of jolly cheer, even at 4am when the last of the Christmas Fruity goers leave. Last year we even sold some donuts after Fruity, so look out for mince pies and other tasty treats! Our Cabaret Showcase will be held on the 13th February in Riley Smith Theatre. This annual showcase falls in Valentines week this year, meaning it’s the perfect time to put on something a little special! We’ll be performing in a cabaret style setting – think tables, chairs and lots of tasty nibbles and wine – with support from Big Band and other wonderful societies. Doll yourselves up and come along for a unique night of dancing, entertainment and musical thrills to support Basis Yorkshire. Call it whatever you want – pole fitness, pole dancing, ‘stripping’…, everyone at Vertical Fitness is proud to call themselves a pole dancer.
We can’t wait to become a recognised Olympic sport, but until you can see it on TV, come watch what we do at any of our events. Stereotypes aside, we are, actually, an extremely inclusive and friendly society. If you walk past the dance studios on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, you’re more likely to see people stupidly dancing or pulling pained faces rather than lingerie clad models in heels. That said, we are pole dancers. We can do both.
Click here to check out Vertical Fitness’ Facebook page here.
By Hannah Ryder